Welcome Home

Last week I shot some interiors for Jessica Blair, interior designer. After spending a number of years in the lifestyle & interiors market as an assistant, it was like coming home.

There was a lot to shoot across three properties, and if you haven’t shot interiors before you may think you just stick a camera in the corner of a room and fire. No, there are usually space constraints, the positioning of non-moveable items, angles, and people’s ‘stuff’. Stuff in the way, stuff reflecting in other stuff, stuff that doesn’t work aesthetically. Why do we have so much stuff?!

This may be the most critical type of photography for looking around the viewfinder - it’s easy to miss a random item in a room-shot, like the plastic water bottle accidentally left on the mantlepiece in Downton Abbey!

A lot of interiors work is aspirational, and you could tell the decor and furnishings had been well matched to their owners. I met two of the home-owners and just the au pair and cleaner in the third! You know what I’m saying.

It was a drizzly, dull day which is not ideal when you want to portray a bright & breezy atmosphere, but with long exposures and a ping of flash here & there I think we pulled it off!

Here’s a taster…

Nice place to read and reflect

Nice place to read and reflect

Loving this space - it flows through to the kitchen which has the most amazing tiles 

Loving this space - it flows through to the kitchen which has the most amazing tiles 

Light fantastic!

Light fantastic!

Wow!

Wow!

Little touches

Little touches

Knitted furniture anyone? This was a great house full of quirkiness!

Knitted furniture anyone? This was a great house full of quirkiness!

Amazing mosaic feature wall

Amazing mosaic feature wall

The long view

The long view

Play that funky music!

Play that funky music!

November News

Blink and you’ll miss it: hard to believe another month is nearly over. With only a couple of days left, and a busy weekend ahead, I thought I should round-up now.

I have attended a good number of meet-ups and private views this month. Despite having to sniff out the venue for the launch of the new Flip magazine due to ‘the cloud’ doing weird stuff with my emails- is it just me? It was great to pick up a copy hot off the press. Flip magazine showcases work from members of London Independent Photographers. To find out more visit:

http://www.londonphotography.org.uk/magazine/

I have two more shots in the bag for the Downtime project, and a third planned for Sunday. You’ll see ‘The Jedi’ below and here is the latest addition; a Ukelele-playing Psychotherapist. 

Within two minutes of meeting this guy he had his Ukulele out and was crooning. Confidence abounds!

And, so it was Remembrance Day this month, and the hundredth year since the start of World War One. I have somehow become the photographer to cover memorial events at the Islington and Camden Cemetery. This year we had a Choir from Islington Council Staff and two Buglers in the mix. Despite being there many times I managed to get lost this year (that’s what happens when you get complacent!).

Anyhow, if you are ever in the area, it’s worth a visit- it’s a huge cemetery and they have introduced a self-led walk showing some of the WW1 military graves.

 

Not something I normally do, but with good relations from my Son’s first school, I was asked if I would pick up the gauntlet of school’s photographer as they had a disaster with the last photographer. Well, 239 kids in six hours is a lot faster than my normal pace, but we got there, and what a bunch of cuties! The only downside was the hours I spent editing to remove bogies and lunchtime spillages. I like to go the extra mile!

Other fun times were Fireworks at Alexandra Palace accompanied by a bit too much mulled wine and good company, and a trip to ‘Ripley’s Believe it or not’ in Piccadilly. I had the joy of attending with four teenage boys, but I enjoyed it as much as they did!

I started writing this on Black Friday with tales of hideous behaviour in stores around the country. Now it’s Saturday and I can only wish you a rainbow of adventures for December. See you there! 

 

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Creative Director

Last Sunday's special viewing at the Islington Art Society's autumn exhibition saw a brush with Award-winning film director Gillies MacKinnon and his oil painting "Nineteen Elements". 

MacKinnon, who studied at the Glasgow School of Art, is known for films such as Regeneration (Behind the Lines), Hideous Kinky and The Last of the Blonde Bombshells, and his recent television work includes The Village and Inspector George Gently.

MacKinnon is among the 90 society members exhibiting 240 artworks in the Hornsey library's Original and Promenade GalleriesLast chance to see 1.00pm-5.00pm Saturday, 22November.

Further details see http://www.islingtonartsociety.org.uk/exhibitions.html
 

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May the force be with you

I was joined by a Jedi today as part of my Downtime project.

'Eric' the postman has invested a lot of time and effort perfecting his Jedi persona and I was very impressed with his outfit.

Things could have turned out very differently if he was a Sith...

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Islington Art Society Autumn Exhibition

The IAS Autumn Exhibition is in the middle of it's annual run. Opened this year by Sandy Nairne, CBE and Director of the National Portrait Gallery. The Exhibition runs until 22nd November at the Original Gallery, Hornsey Library, Crouch End, N8 9JA and entry is free.

There was a terrific turn out at the Private View where I was busy taking photographs for the society: We got good press coverage with images printed on the front page of The Islington Tribune and also this week's Ham & High (Broadway edition).

If you are local and want to see a wide range of artistic styles from your creative neighbours, go along. I will be there on Tuesday 18th November between 4 and 7pm.

Here are a few pics from the event, along with my two pieces that are hanging on the wall. 

  Member Robin Stevenson, chair Virginia Jackson, Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery and secretary Jo Pethybridge

 

Member Robin Stevenson, chair Virginia Jackson, Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery and secretary Jo Pethybridge

Helen Kaminsky with her collage Stage Whisper

Helen Kaminsky with her collage Stage Whisper

A private view

A private view

Dennis and Fluffy I

Dennis and Fluffy I

Bob & Billy Boy

Bob & Billy Boy

Welcome!

Hello and welcome to my new website and blog!

I plan to post a monthly round-up of my photographic activities, alongside a spattering of other interesting snippets from the world around us. Feel free to join in at any time!

Amanda

 

October Round-up

October has seen an action-packed agenda of work & pleasure. I completely disagree with not mixing the two: if you spend a third of your ‘active working years’ in a vocation you had better try and enjoy it!

Here are some of the highlights:

 

I found myself at the Madejski Stadium, home to Reading FC and London Irish Rugby club. My job had nothing to do with sport however, as I was photographing the MC conference for Atkins: one of the world’s leading Design, engineering and project management consultancies.

Being a photographer sometimes gives you an insight into worlds’ of work that you may be aware of, but know little about. 

I have been a member of Friend’s of the Earth for around twenty years, so I do have an interest in the way we interact with the planet. This conference gave me an insight in to how people make decisions on our behalf in terms of analysing the data and finding solutions for a sustainable future. This was coming from a business perspective, but these people do have to find ways of balancing profit, pleasing share-holders and ‘doing the right thing’. I think I’ll stick to photography.

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Loom bands/team-building. Go figure!

Loom bands/team-building. Go figure!


On a spectacular October day I took my son along to help with the harvest at Chigwell’s only Vineyard: I have to admit with the sunshine, green vines and blue skies I got carried away taking pictures, but the boy did a grand job!

I am writing an editorial piece about the Vineyard, on the back of another project, so watch this space!

Gravel Lane Vineyard

Gravel Lane Vineyard

The boy

The boy

I had five days work with the lady decorators in North London: part of my portfolio career! 

I also managed to fit in three photo shoots for my Downtime project dotted around London which I am very excited about: see the images in the Projects section.

London Independent Photographer’s had their annual exhibition at the Embassy Tea Gallery in Southwark. There was a good turnout at the private view and I had two prints on projection:

Woman with an eye

Woman with an eye

Bob & Billy Boy

Bob & Billy Boy

I had four amazing days in Iceland, celebrating a very good friend’s birthday. With stunning scenery and exhilarating conditions, I would recommend this country to everyone!


Spooksville

Spooksville

Blue Lagoon Spa: Heaven on earth

Blue Lagoon Spa: Heaven on earth

It really was cold!

It really was cold!

Beats a London geezer any day!

Beats a London geezer any day!

The stunning Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall), is fed by Iceland´s second biggest glacier, the Langjökull. 

The stunning Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall), is fed by Iceland´s second biggest glacier, the Langjökull. 

Bleak

Bleak

 

I made it to the last day of the Virginia Woolf exhibition at the National Portrait gallery and discovered that Julia Margaret Cameron was her aunt. Julia Margaret Cameron was one of the first female photographers I heard about when studying my A levels many moons ago. An interesting exhibition and another reminder of being born into the right circles does wonders for your career. 

Until next time

Amanda